GREEN PLASTICS THANKS TO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

July 9, 2019

The chemical industry almost exclusively uses fossil fuels as raw materials as well, for example in the production of plastics. That is why the Groningen start-up BioBTX wants to blast a new, green gust of fresh air through the chemical industry. The company is counting on artificial intelligence to be able do this. A half-opened garage door conceals a tangle of aluminium colored vats, switches and pipes. Except for one technician, the BioBTX workshop is unmanned. It is tucked away somewhat, right at the back of the Energy Academy on the Zernike campus in Groningen. Little suggests that five people are working here on a machine which could turn the entire chemical industry upside down. “What we want to do here is to start a revolution,” says Chief Technology Officer Niels Schenk. BioBTX has developed a pilot plant for extracting chemicals from biomass. The Groningen start-up does this by breaking down glycerine, a waste product released during the production of biodiesel, into small fundamental building blocks, namely benzene, toluene and xylene – better known as BTX. These in turn form the basis for all kinds of aromatics, which are used for many chemical applications. Examples are amino acids, sweeteners or antidepressants, but also polymers (from which wind turbines or cars are made) and aramids (extremely strong fibers that are used in bulletproof vests, for instance).

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Salix Pharmaceuticals

Salix Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. For more than 20 years, we have licensed, developed, and marketed innovative products to treat GI problems. It’s our mission to give healthcare providers and patients the most effective solutions in gastroenterology. As a corporation, we are also focused on providing rewarding opportunities to all of our employees and delivering exceptional value to our stockholders. Most importantly, we measure true success based on the difference we make in the lives of the millions of Americans who are affected by GI disorders every year.

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Spotlight

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Salix Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. For more than 20 years, we have licensed, developed, and marketed innovative products to treat GI problems. It’s our mission to give healthcare providers and patients the most effective solutions in gastroenterology. As a corporation, we are also focused on providing rewarding opportunities to all of our employees and delivering exceptional value to our stockholders. Most importantly, we measure true success based on the difference we make in the lives of the millions of Americans who are affected by GI disorders every year.

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